Huge win for City on the day the fans came back.

CoymayOkay, everyone knows that the attendance for Cardiff City’s very important 2-1 home win over Derby County yesterday would not have been the biggest ever for a club game (excluding when Real Madrid come to town that is!) at our new stadium if it had not been for a couple of schemes specifically designed to get more people through the gate.

Firstly, the free tickets for schools scheme the club have been running has led to a small increase in attendances in recent weeks. However, it was the offer of two free tickets for everyone who had already committed their support for the club in season 16/17 by purchasing season tickets which was primarily responsible for an announced attendance of 28,860 yesterday. That figure is well on the way to double the previous best gate of the season (15,566) – they even had to open Tan’s Folly to meet the demand!

Now, I used the term “announced attendance” there because we all know that this relates to tickets sold/issued rather than the number of actual people in the ground – hence the laughter and hoots of derision often heard last season from those still awake when the “official” attendance was announced (plenty of season ticket holders had given up on City well before the end of the campaign last year).

From where I sit in the ground, it was impossible to judge how many people were sat in the extension to the Ninian Stand yesterday, but of the 85 per cent or so of the ground I could see, I doubt it if there really were as many present as was announced.

However, unlike on so many other occasions, the announced attendance figure looked nowhere near as wrong as it has done in the past. When you’re saying that a ground the size of ours is between 80 and 85 per cent full, as the club were yesterday, then you know that there needs to substantial numbers present for such a claim not to appear ridiculous. This time, there was no ridicule – if the announced attendance would have been, say, 25,000 then I would have believed that to tally with the actual crowd.

Therefore, even if it was true that the attendance did not quite match the number who turned up, I believe the club deserve tremendous credit for the initiatives they have introduced recently and also for a range of season ticket prices which have, seemingly, seen a substantial increase in numbers sold compared to this time last year.

When you also factor in the measures taken to try and improve the atmosphere at games and little things like the introduction of the giant sized flags we saw yesterday, then I believe it’s fair to say that the club are doing all that they can to try and repair the huge disconnect with their supporters which started with the “rebranding” to red and continued for the best part of three and a half years after that – well done to Ken Choo and others at the club for the strides they have made in the last six months or so.

The acid test will come over the coming weeks and months of course when it becomes clear how many of those who got in for nothing yesterday were persuaded to come along to other matches or, better still, commit to a 16/17 season ticket. I hate using the corporate speak term “matchday experience”, but I’ll make an exception here and say that some of the recent off field measures taken to try and improve that facet of attending a City game may help in that direction.

One consequence of having Sean Morrison back in the starting line up is that we become more dangerous at set pieces - I'm sure Morrison's presence distracted Derby defenders as Peter Whittingham's excellent corner came over, but full credit to Bruno Manga - it really was a bullet header.*

One consequence of having Sean Morrison back in the starting line up is that we become more dangerous at set pieces – I’m sure Morrison’s presence distracted Derby defenders as Peter Whittingham’s excellent corner came over, but full credit to Bruno Manga – it really was a bullet header.*

However, I think we all know that the greatest single influence in determining how many out of a club’s potential support actually go along to games is results on the pitch – if the team can also provide a bit of entertainment  while they’re picking up the wins, then all well and good.

So, did what happened on the pitch yesterday help or hinder the club’s attempts to tempt some of the missing thousands of paying customers back?

The obvious answer is that it helped because we won, but I would hope it goes a bit further than that because I’d like to believe that many of those making their first visit to a City match for a few months or longer will have been impressed by how much things have improved since they last watched us.

Hopefully, they would have seen how much the team have come on in 2016. Although we were doing pretty well results wise in the first half of the season and some of the matches in late 2015 hinted that we were becoming a more watchable side, it’s since that game at Wolves in early January when we were almost forced into playing a certain way that we have gone up to another level which has enabled us to make this top six challenge of ours a more convincing one than I, for one, expected it to be.

In particular, we now play with a formation, which is not too far off Russell Slade’s preferred 4-4-2, that allows us to compete on equal terms with most sides we come up against when it comes to the midfield battle.

Ever since our relegation, we have struggled to gain parity with our opponents in the middle of the park when playing a pretty rigid 4-4-2. Often this has been down to a straightforward lack of numbers when compared to the opposition, but it’s also had a lot to do with the players used.

I can’t speak for others, but the main reason I sometimes used to argue that Peter Whittingham should be left out of the side was that, no matter who he played with, any attempt by City to use him as one of a two man central midfield in a 4-4-2 was doomed to failure over the medium to long term.

Whittingham doesn’t have the physical attributes to play such a role in such a system – use him as one of a central midfield three and that’s different, but we had the evidence of a season and more that it just didn’t work when we played 4-4-2.

However, put two workhorses like Joe Ralls and Stuart O’Keefe together in there and you begin to see something that hints at improvement. Actually, to dismiss these two players as “workhorses” is not fair – Ralls (how many better central midfield players of his age are there in the Championship?) is much more than that and O’Keefe has shown himself to be a better footballer than many, myself included, were prepared to give him credit for.

Many people had O’Keefe down as their Man of the Match yesterday (for myself, I couldn’t separate him and another player I’m going to discuss shortly) and I’d say he would be a contender for our most consistent player over the last three months.

While his goal yesterday was a step in the right direction, I’d say O’Keefe suffers by comparison to Jordon Mutch in terms of his attacking play, but I’d argue that he is the closest thing we have had to Mutch when it comes to getting up and down the pitch since he left for QPR.

O’Keefe is the box to box midfielder we’ve lacked since we returned to the Championship and, although it could be asked why it took so long for him to get into the team I suppose, at the moment I’m happy to have a box to box midfielder who has played only half a season. On the other hand, most of the opponents he comes up against who play a similar role are now going into their eighth consecutive month of covering miles and miles every game as they seek to become additional members of the defence or attack as required of their team.

Even so, I believe it still needed that bit more to make us a credible top six contender and that’s come in the form of Lex Immers who, in a short time, has become, arguably, our most important player.

Whenever we sign a player I don’t know much about, I tend to try and find out what the supporters of his current (in the case of loans)/former club think of him. When I did this with Immers, it was a struggle to find a Feyenoord fan with a good word to say about him – given how bad the Dutch club have looked when I’ve watched them this season, I really did wonder what we were signing.

However, among all the criticism and ridicule, I did find this article (which I think I may have posted on here before) which suggested that Immers might not be the donkey so many were telling us he was. Even here though he is being damned with faint praise to some extent as there is talk of his clumsiness, but, based on what I’ve seen so far, Immers’ touch is sure and his technique more than adequate – I daresay the standards by which a player is judged can vary if you are speaking as someone who hails from the land which gave us total football and or as someone who watches the modern day Championship every week!

Nevertheless, that article does a very good job in outlining why there is so much more to Lex Immers than you might at first think – he’s a perceptive, if understated, passer and with a more confident and ambitious Whittingham moving infield at times to deliver quality balls, we are much more creative than we were.

In saying that, I don’t believe that sympathetic piece does Immers full justice.For example, although I’m not a fan of the move late in matches which often sees Anthony Pilkington withdrawn for a more defensively minded player with Immers being pushed up front, you only have to look at how he works so tirelessly to close down defenders in possession and contrast it with what we used to get throughout a game in that department from Kenwyne Jones to see one of the main reasons why we are so improved from the first half of the season.

We always had quite a few hard working players, but Immers encapsulates what I believe to be a new spirit within the side. He was out on his feet in the closing minutes yesterday, but he was still giving everything for the team and that attitude is proving infectious both on and off the pitch.

There’s still more to Immers though because when he is playing in his deeper, more normal, role his presence means that the opposition’s deep lying midfield player (often the fulcrum of the side) is being given a rougher ride than he had got used to in earlier meetings with Cardiff.

Yesterday offered an excellent example of this. I’ve been a big fan of George Thorne ever since he played a leading part in our 100 per cent winning home record being ended at the eleventh attempt in 12/13 as Peterborough came here and deservedly won 2-1. I think I’m right in saying that when Derby swatted us away on their own ground back in November in much the same way as a cow dismisses a fly from it’s presence with it’s tail, Thorne (who scored the opening goal in Derby’s 2-0 win) was statistically the Championship’s best midfield player.

His form has dipped since then (injuries haven’t helped either), but I’d still say that if Thorne plays well, so do Derby. Yesterday, he only had a limited influence on the game and much of that was down to Immers’ work without the ball for his team. There was talk of the “Derby way” a few months back which was generally taken to mean a passing game with defenders encouraged to play out from the back – the presence of players like Pilkington and Immers in advanced central positions makes it much harder for teams to play like that against Cardiff than it used to be.

I must admit to having been pretty confident about yesterday’s game because at the same time as we have been acquiring some momentum, Derby have been losing theirs. When you are also factor in their implosion over the final thirteen games of last season that saw them transformed from likely Champions to eighth placed also rans, I’d be getting pretty worried now if I were a Derby fan.

If you’ve got the time, have a listen to the interview with Derby coach Darren Wassall in the BBC’s report of the game - I found it fascinating for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m not sure I’ve heard such an inane and poorly informed set of questions as the ones Mr Wassall was asked and, secondly, the replies an increasingly exasperated coach gave to them.

I’d say Mr Wassall was right in some respects. For example, we’ve not scored a home goal from open play since Immers’ against Brighton four games ago and, at Cardiff City Stadium at least, are in danger of reverting into a side that just scores from set pieces – so, in a way, his assertion that his team only lost because they defended two corners poorly is understandable.

However, that is to ignore the evidence of so much else that happened in the game. Derby were strangely passive in what was a very important match for them and they seemed happy to play on our terms as we let them have the ball safe in the knowledge that we were never allowing them to build a base from which their team (which I think looks so much better than ours on paper) could build from.

Apart from a goal which owed an awful lot to a lucky ricochet and a first half run from the largely anonymous Tom Ince which took him deep into our penalty area but came to nothing, I’m struggling to remember a time when Derby had me concerned that they could score.

Stuart O'Keefe made an undistinguished City debut as Derby strolled to a 2-0 away win last season. He spent most of the next year as a bit part player here, but not any more, he's become an essential member of the team lately and a very good performance was rewarded yesterday with his second goal of the season.+

Stuart O’Keefe made an undistinguished City debut as Derby strolled to a 2-0 away win last season. He spent most of the next year as a bit part player here, but not any more, he’s become an essential member of the team lately and a very good performance was rewarded yesterday with his second goal of the season.+

Surely, that should have alarm bells ringing at whatever Pride Park is called these days? Forget about the names in Derby’s starting line up, just look at their bench. They were able to bring on a Scottish international who I’m sure most clubs in this league would sign like a shot if they could and the striker who was the Championship’s form player back in the autumn, while a full back who may well be on his way to the Euros this summer, an England international with getting on for two hundred career goals and another international striker who was an automatic selection in far, far better Aston Villa sides than the current one were left kicking their heels!

Now, I accept that I don’t watch Derby every week and there may be valid reasons why players such as Cyrus Christie and Andreas Weimann were not seen at all yesterday, but their absence helped to contribute to a feeling I had which I can best describe as “all of that money spent just to produce this?” as I watched our insipid opponents labour away.

This takes me on to the truly pertinent point in that interview with Darren Wassall. I’m talking about the bit where the interviewer states “you have GOT to finish in the top six” and the coach agrees with him. Given the amount of money that has been spent at the club in the past two seasons, I daresay that there are Derby fans who will be disappointed at not being promoted automatically even if they do make it into the Play Offs.

A sense of raised expectation at a club can be such a weight for their team to carry – the pressure from within is almost greater than anything they face from their opponents and if the perception is around that someone is letting that pressure get to them, then opponents will be ruthless in their attempts to exploit any supposed weaknesses. With Derby’s finish last season and a bit of a wobble going on this time, I’m sure there is a feeling about that “they don’t like it up them” – surely it was no coincidence that City made an unusually fast start yesterday as they attempted to exploit any demons they believed their opponents may be harbouring.

Yesterday’s game confirmed a feeling which I’ve had for a month or so now – if we do manage to finish in the top six I believe that it will be at Derby’s rather than Sheffield Wednesday’s expense (they are the only two we can hope to catch now). However, as I’ve never really expected us to be in the Play Offs and would have little expectation of us winning them if we did manage it, I can handle any “failure” quite comfortably.

I believe most City fans probably feel quite similarly – increasingly, this is feeling like Malky Mackay’s first season where the real achievement for a side put together on a small budget was just to reach the Play Offs and so no one got too upset when West Ham made short work of us in the Semis – it’s completely different for Derby and, for me, this is the main reason why we may now just end up making it into that top six.

One last thing to any Derby fans who may read this, I know it’s a bit rich for a City fan to talk like I have done about your club. After all, if you Google “doing a Cardiff”, you’ll probably find reference to our frequent habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of what seemed certain victory.

Also, over the past fifteen years we’ve written the book on over ambition and poor big money signings, so I accept this is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black here, but on the only occasion we’ve ever been the Championship’s “moneybags” team, we ended up winning the league by seven points – I’m sure you’ll be back playing Premier League football one day (probably sooner than we will), but I think the powers that be at your club may have to redefine what “the Derby way” is if you miss out on the top six again this season.

*picture courtesy of http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/

+picture courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/joncandy/albums/with/72157666616578086

 

 

 

 

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25 Responses to Huge win for City on the day the fans came back.

  1. Anthony O'Brien says:

    Hullo. Thank you for answering my phone call.
    ———
    Emergency? Yes, of course it is.
    ———
    Yes, I’ll tell you what it’s about – it’s about a little blue flower. I can’t recall the name at the moment, but I do know its name in most European countries has exactly the same meaning as it has in English, but in the language of each of those countries.
    ——-
    What do you mean you can’t help? And why the funny French accent? Now I know you’re joking. Since when did Interpol stop delivering flowers? Send a bunch to Mr R Slade, c/o City of Cardiff Stadium, and put the sender’s name as Idriss Saadi. Oh, and I’ve just remembered the flower’s name. It’s blue and it’s Forget-Me-Not!

  2. Blue Bayou says:

    I totally agree about Immers, and his work rate, compared to our previous strikers. I also think you’ve produced in this article one of the most incisive paragraphs I’ve read in your pieces – ‘Now, I accept that I don’t watch Derby every week and there may be valid reasons why players such as Cyrus Christie and Andreas Weimann were not seen at all yesterday, but their absence helped to contribute to a feeling I had which I can best describe as “all of that money spent just to produce this?” as I watched our insipid opponents labour away’. It reminded me of Cristina’s engaging alternative cover version of ‘Is that all there is?’ Worth checking out :O)

  3. Dai Woosnam says:

    Great, thoughtful piece from you Paul.
    Lovely to see The Bluebirds bosses implementing “think outside the square” ways of filling the stadium…and opening up the closed down extension.
    And like Mao and also that Jesuit wallah said… “catch em young, and they are ours for life”.
    Just one heartfelt plea…is it not time to come clean on your preference for the pejorative use of the term ‘Tan’s Folly’, over the far more magnanimous term for that wonderful structure, ‘Vincent’s Vision’?
    Of course when I coined the description of Vincent’s Vision, I was not suggesting for one nanosecond that the red seating was designed to attract the national team. The fact that it IS red however, is hugely serendipitous, coupled to the fact that with this additional stand being built, we were – with the increased capacity – able to stop our international games going 40 miles down the road to the Liberty Stadium…and trust me, with all those Swansea Jacks and no Cardiffians in and around the Welsh team, well, that was on the cards.
    But it WAS “vision” on the part of Sir Vincent* in that he knew that he had to think big …and I have no doubt he and his board got vocal encouragement from a certain Malky Mackay…an expert in frittering away money on the likes of vastly overrated players like Cornelius and Caulker.
    So, when it comes to the greatest benefactor this club has ever known, it is time to cut him some slack.
    And stop calling it Tan’s Folly.
    Is it just some piffling, priggish objection I have to its coarseness, as a term?
    Maybe. If it were called ‘MISTER Tan’s Kind-Hearted Folly’, might I object less forcefully?? (No…that was not me being serious there: the inside of my cheek was bulging slightly.)

    But I think my problem with the term is only partly one of it being indicative of gross ingratitude. My other problem with it is its total lack of regard for historical precedent.

    So let me try and get to the core of what is wrong with the term.

    First, the bad manners thing.

    I contend that it was a term coined by the Great Unwashed who people the WalesOnline comment section: cowardly Keyboard Warriors who hide behind pen-names or just first names, and love ridiculing the club’s owner and manager…the latter who several of them call Coco the Clown**
    These people are the spiritual brothers of those scoundrels who waved ‘TanOut!’ banners as City were playing in the EPL …and still had all to play for. ‘Fifth Columnists’ is too good a term for them.
    They were ‘white flag merchants’. Had it been a war, they’d have been shot for desertion.
    So, Paul, that is part of my problem with ‘Tan’s Folly’ as a term.

    But I also feel it flies in the face of historical precedent.

    Just THINK of all the structures that were regarded as follies, when built? You have one just up the road from you. Castell Coch.

    Miners on four shillings a day at the time, would happily have burned it down (and probably included the Marquis of Bute and William Burges in the bonfire!) if only they could have got away with it.

    But where would we be without it now? And three years ago, I did a full tour of the place, and – forget the fact that it looks a glorious masterpiece from the OUTSIDE – was astonished also at its interior beauty and complexity.

    And then I refer you to the most visited tourist site in the world. More visitors than The Tower of London and St Paul’s combined.

    I refer to Gustav Eiffel’s tower.

    But remember, when this was built in the last quarter of the 19th century, it was regarded as not only a folly, but also a monstrosity. Parisians were assured that it would be dismantled after a few years. They thought it ugly and useless (shades of the criticism of Vincent’s Vision, don’t you think?)

    Indeed one famous Paris resident, the author Guy de Maupassant, used to regularly dine in the restaurant on the first or second level (I forget which), because he claimed it was the one place where he did not have to set eyes on the monstrosity.***

    But where would we be without The Eiffel Tower now? And try knocking it down, and there would be an outcry.

    And so my dear Paul…I appeal to your better side here – as you are by nature a most decent and pleasant fellow – to kindly lead the way in CIVIL DISCOURSE by dropping the abomination of TF.
    I am not asking you to use my VV – that would be a step too far, and be asking for a sea change in your thinking – but at least call this blessed and generous seating capacity extension, something non-pejorative.
    Let’s say ‘THE RED SEATS”.
    Oh and btw let us fight to keep them red…to remind the world that the CCS is also the NATIONAL soccer stadium.
    (Yes Paul…I can see you spluttering in your cornflakes at that!!!)

    I will sign off now.
    My kindest to you as ever.
    Dai.
    * I always regard ‘Sri Vincent’ as a typo…and assume it just MUST be ‘Sir Vincent’. He may not have had an honorary knighthood, but SHOULD have been granted the Freedom of the City of Cardiff…well before now.
    Any councillors reading this…get your finger out!
    ** Some clown eh, if he gets promotion? And I always remember Brian Clough calling that inspired Polish goalie a clown…and we all know what happened that night in 1973.
    *** Brilliant, eh? Always loved that droll humour.
    DW.

  4. Dai Woosnam says:

    Ah …Mr Roy Orbison’s comment on Is That All There Is? was posted just two minutes before my mammoth effirt that I started well before even AMO had started writing his, let alone posted it.
    I assume we are talking here about the Leiber and Stoller masterpiece, first recorded by the great Peggy Lee nearly half a century ago.
    It is a song I play at least monthly…and is so atypical of the general wonderful body of work of Leiber and Stoller.
    It is a deeply serious song.
    And Peggy Lee really NAILED it all those years ago.
    And the closing line became my philosophy on how to fearlessly meet death…which is something that is getting very close to me now. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Johan Cruyff – all my almost exact contemporaries – were called upstairs in recent weeks.
    And as for AMO…I am sure you make a sound point (and do so in your usual ineffably stylish way), but dear fellow, do not lose faith in our good and decent manager, Mr Russell Slade. Do not assume your man is lost in the Welsh equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle…a.k.a. The Cardiff City training complex at The Vale of Glamorgan.
    Russell is assuredly not ignoring him, like Mackay shamefully ignored the wonderful John Brayford.
    How do I know?
    Well, one name is proof positive, that there are no lost sheep down there.
    O’Keefe.
    Remember, he was lost seemingly without trace.
    And now he stars.
    So there is hope for your man yet, AMO.
    DW.

  5. Anthony O'Brien says:

    Point taken, Dai. I just feel that neither Pilkington nor Immers are totally suited (or happy) to be the absolute front man, and perhaps would be better playing off him. Both are exceptionally intelligent, and both did well yesterday but did either get shots on goal? They need a genuine striker to take much of the pressure going forward — and to me, based on the small amount I saw of him some time ago — Saadi is (or perhaps was, for whatever the reason) the man to light up the Cardiff attack in a way which Tony Watt managed to do. Incidentally, Immers was exceptional, but to me the “man of the match” was Manga, who covered his other defenders brilliantly, didn’t miss one defensive header, brought the ball forward with skill and purpose, and scored an excellent goal. But what a tremendous day it was yesterday!
    Another point. Some season ticket holders have complained at the free ticket policy. But as season ticket holders, they are the ones receiving tickets, and — unless they are monks living in isolation or have neither friend nor family — they actually benefit by being able to provide kith and kin or other deserving cases with free tickets. I think it’s a brilliant scheme!

  6. Blue Bayou says:

    Yes Dai, it is the same song, although Cristina was a member of the band No Wave, when she recorded it in 1980 with the lyrics for some verses changed to reflect those times and attitudes. Lieber & Stoller initially objected to the changes and the version had to be withdrawn soon after being released, but some years later they relented so you can now see it on Youtube.

  7. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Not got much time at the moment, so thanks for the comments and I’ll briefly give my thoughts on them.
    Dai, I don’t know if you read this piece I did last year in which I explained my use of the term “Tans Folly” (as far as I know, I was the first person to use the term – I never heard or read anyone using it beforehand)
    http://mauveandyellowarmy.net/the-folly-of-it-all/
    Although I was not happy initially with the red seats in the stand extension, this was more to do with me believing, mistakenly as it turns out, that it signaled that our change to red was going to last longer than I had originally believed it would. Now we are back in blue, I’ve no real issue with the colour of the seats and I think the stand itself looks good, but, sorry, until we can attract crowds which merit it being opened. it’s a pointless extension to the capacity as far as I’m concerned. If and when it can be filled at City matches, it will cease becoming a folly and I’ll stop using the term, but I’m not going to until then – perhaps whether we can fill it or not will be put to the test sooner than I thought it would be with an appearance in a Play Off Semi Final?
    BlueBayou just listened to the song you recommended (and the Peggy Lee version) – first time I’ve heard it in ages and I enjoyed both versions.
    AMO, having seen them both play a few times now, I’m more sympathetic towards Russell Slade’s view that Kenneth Zohore is a better option currently than Idriss Saadi – I’m not saying that there’s much between the two and, if pressed, I’d probably still opt for Saadi, but when you look at the senior players on the bench yesterday, I can understand why it’s got to be a case of only one out of Zohore and Saadi at the moment.
    Agree with you completely about any complaints about season ticket holders being poorly served by schemes like yesterday’s. If it happened, say, eight times a season, then my attitude might change, but I’d have no problem at all with it being used three or four times – as you say, it’s a brilliant scheme.

  8. Russell says:

    Thanks once again Paul I swapped seats at half time to get a better view of the Ninian stand and it was rammed and a good few in the higher “mothballed ” stand .

    was a good fee day lots of ladies about in their finery , smiling faces and sunshine , clever old Tan for arranging all that .

    It was a tough game to watch until the goals , second half was better , Ince is a very poor version of his father, love you comment about “doing a Cardiff ” spot on indeed .

    like you I thought Immers was exceptionable and has a cam steadiness about his play .

    I think Pilk’s is struggling to get that goal poacher role right , however any striker may have struggled to have profited yesterday ,as the play at times wasn’t penetrating enough into the penalty box or pacy , rather stalemate in fact , if it wasn’t for their poor defending at set pieces by Derby it could have easily been a one nil loss .

    Still think Saadi should have another run, however we don’t know whats going on in the training games, however my gut feeling Slade likes his workhorses as it builds team spirit and it could be that players like Saadi ( who he may not have signed ) doesn’t put that shift in , and we cannot afford to carry a luxury player, hence the moving on of Jones and Macheda who have not been a revelation in front of goal for Forest or all the other striker we have let go ? Watts 1 in 8 games, Mason 2 in 8 games , Kenwyne Jones 2 in 7 games ( in a Micky Mouse league) perhaps Slade knew or saw something or its just a tough league ,that requires workers and strong ethics ??

    Derby have Hull on Tuesday and still have to play Brighton and Wednesday , so amusingly it maybe them we can catch rather than Wednesday who knows ??

    In relation to free tickets moving forward, perhaps the greedy caterers could stump up some cash for the rest of the games , as they made an handsome profit on Saturday , looking at the queues and lack of staff .

  9. Dai Woosnam says:

    Tell me…do the greedy caterers sell Peter’s Pies in preference to Clarks?
    I do hope so.
    I assume they do, because of the giant advertising Peter’s Pies sign.
    I used to think that I could not get my favourite Peter’s here in Grimsby, and then discovered they were doing the own label pies for LIDL throughout the UK…and the Cornish pasties.
    I noted a Cornish MP lamented in the House some 4 years ago, that LIDL had to get their Cornish pasties from that little-known part of North Cornwall* known as “Bedwas Caerphilly” !!
    As for you Paul, asserting your fatherhood of that somewhat pejorative phrase, I do not know what to say, other than I think you are a noble fellow, and thus am surprised at you coining such a sour description. But I will give you this…it DOES have a certain impact (I was gonna say “a certain je ne sais quoi”…but I think I KNOW why it is so effective).
    It’s why I have definitely seen it picked up by the cowardly Keyboard Warriors banging in their anti- Vincent and Russell stuff in WalesOnline. (Or if not there, I have certainly seen it somewhere online outside of your CCMaYA site). It feeds in to their narrative.
    Some of these fellows are the polar opposite of you Paul. They are xenophobes and massively ungrateful to boot.
    And I submit that one or two of them are direct descendants of the women who knitted at the foot of the guillotine.
    ‘Tan’s Folly’ is a gift from God to them.
    That is why I hope in time, you will reflect on the usage of that phrase. You use it non-pejoratively: they don’t.
    And we all are duty bound to take care with words we “put out there”, as they can be adopted by people we’d not choose to share our last Peter’s Pie with !!
    DW.

  10. Dai Woosnam says:

    Oh dear, Paul.
    Excuse me being slipshod in the last entry.
    I typed an asterisk, but not the footnote.
    The footnote (had I remembered it) would have read…”MY words, not the Cornish MP’s!”

    Talking of footnotes, I could have added one for my reference to Clarks pies. And that would have read…”my apologies to Frank Hennessy”.
    Clarks used to have a lot less meat than Peter’s and was nowhere near as more-ish, but that said, Peter’s have seemingly cut back their own meat content lately…more fresh air, at least in their LIDL pies.
    And one final thing, my brother Graham in Pontyclun, who is a DEDICATED paid-up member of your fan club, Paul, tells me in an email just received, that the only “folly” in the term Tan’s Folly is yours, my dear comrade-in-arms*. We both agree it has a certain pithy resonance, but it is above all an uncharitable phrase.
    And “uncharitable” is the very LAST accusation anyone could put at YOUR door, dear Paul.
    After all, you put up with MOI most every week !!!
    Ha!
    * labouring as we both do, in the business of putting our thoughts into words.
    DW.

  11. Coming back? says:

    Thanks for this piece. The usual excellent read.

    I’m one of those who walked away after 27 years of practically every home game and more than a few away games when Tan turned the City red, and a majority of the fan-base accepted and applauded his change as they sold any principles down the river, all in the cause of matching Swansea City.

    Since the return to blue, I have attended a handful of games including the first game back in the team’s rightful colours. While it hasn’t been difficult at all to identify with the team playing in blue, I have not recaptured the passion that I once had for the team. My matchday routine is changed, as there are some people I fell out with over the rebrand that I have no desire to see ever again. Equally there are many, many people who I consider as exceptionally good friends who will never return as a result of the rebrand folly and the matchday experience will forever be diminished by their absence pre and post match in particular.

    I didn’t attend yesterday, even though I was offered a freebie as other family commitments meant that I wasn’t available. In days gone by, there would never have been a question about those family commitments taking precedence.

    I can see from the reports of yesterday, and the few games I have attended this season that the current management are doing their best to rectify the huge mistakes that their boss made and are making a real effort to bring back people like me and others. The football is entertaining enough as well in a team probably not ultimately good enough to make the play-offs way.

    So a day before, a soft deadline for season ticket sales ends, I am considering buying 2 season tickets for the first time since the rebrand was announced. To be frank, the 2 year price freeze is neither here or there and arguably I can wait longer over my decision but it’s probably now or never.

    I want to support my local team, with a stadium 20 minutes walk from my house. I want to be able to fill every other Saturday with some football. It looks a no-brainer, but something is still holding me back. But I will admit that even be in the position after the betrayal of the rebrand means the club must be trying their best and their efforts are having some effect.

  12. Dai Woosnam says:

    As the truly great Dannie Abse said, the switch to red was unfortunate, but ir was something he could doubtless learn to live with eventually.
    And the one occasion I met Dannie, we talked about our City heroes from the 1950s…he had had the interests of the club close to his heart for a lot longer than 27 years. And was never afraid to put his own name to his words.
    No danger of him being mistaken for an agent provocateur, hellbent on a bit of impish mischief.
    DW.

  13. MIKE HOPE says:

    A great piece as always Paul on a momentous day for our club and some interesting comments from your followers.
    I hope that ‘Coming back ?’ decides to remove the question mark thus showing more forgiveness and common sense than the fans who have chosen a lifetime’s exile because for a short time in our history we played in red shirts.
    I am on Dai Woosnam’s side on the use of the term Tan’s Folly even though Mr Tan himself might now regard the expenditure as being on a par with the signing of Cornelius!
    Various reasons have been given for our missing fans and I am sure that the adverse opinions on social media have had a big impact.
    Most of the message board negativity towards the club this season has been directed at our manager rather than Mr Tan but I think Dai is right when he says that the T F term is manna from heaven to the Slade haters most of whom seem to be boycotters.
    This clearly was not your intention and your article gives an excellent account of the efforts being made by the club to bring back supporters. It would be a shame if the TF expression hampered this.

  14. Anthony O'Brien says:

    I’d prefer to be called a peasant rather than a pedant, but – with some trepidation – I nevertheless would like to point out that “folly” did not necessary mean “foolish”. I believe it was used originally to describe something created to give delight or fun as and when required – think Folies Bergere or the Ziegfield Follies. In this sense – and I’m sure this will resonate with Dai – even a dacha in Russia could be called a folly.
    The easiest way to describe a “folly” in this context would perhaps be to quote the opium-fuelled dream words of Coleridge :”In Xanadu did Kubla Kahn/A MIGHTY PLEASURE DOME decree.” In parody, this might be “In Cardiff, too, did Vincent Tan/ A mighty pleasure dome decree.” His red-seated stand was certainly a zone of pleasure on Saturday. I think Dai is on the right track when he talks of Vincent’s Vision. I tend to regard it as like an insurance policy: You pay for it when you can, and if and when you subsequently need it, there it is, as was the case on Saturday. It might well be called “Tan’s Plan” or “The Planned Stand”. At any rate, I think it should be regarded as an act of forward planning, rather than a foolish way of money.

  15. Anthony O'Brien says:

    OOPS! Meant “waste” not “way”.

  16. The other Bob Wilson says:

    To be fair Russell, I agree with our manager when he says that points take precedence over performances at this stage of the season and, even though the last two home games have been a bit of a throwback to the dark days of last year and earlier this season, I’d say we are still trying to get the ball down and play most of the time.

    I agree about Derby – Sheffield Wednesday lose very few matches and have the “look” of a top six side about them.

    Also agree with you about the caterers who’ve been lining their pockets ever since that deal with Peter Ridsdale when the new ground was opened which was slanted very much in their favour.

  17. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks for your reply Tyrone. Although I viewed things differently to you, I’ve always maintained that there was no right or wrong approach for City fans to take regarding the rebrand – it was very much an individual decision as to how you reacted for all concerned. I sympathise with the position you are in and am pretty sure you are not alone in feeling like you do. I’m heartened to hear that a few people I know who had stopped going have “returned to the fold” because I don’t believe they ever really stopped being City fans. However, I can remember that, after missing my first home match in about thirteen years back in the 80s, something definitely felt different about my relationship with the club and when that was quickly followed by the Durban years, I went through a spell where missing City games didn’t bother me in the slightest.
    What I would say to you is that, although the quality of football has slipped back a bit in the last two home matches, I think it’s fair to say that things are much better than they were in terms of enjoyment and atmosphere. Obviously, the fact we are doing well at home helps, but it’s not the be all and end all. I believe people in general are feeling better about the club and you may see your attitude changing if you get along to one of the remaining matches this season – as for a new season ticket, I suppose the fact you are considering buying one is progress because this time last year there were tens of thousands who would never have entertained the idea and there were people like me who were questioning their sanity after they renewed!

  18. The other Bob Wilson says:

    This reply is not just to AMO, but to all of you who have questioned my use of the term Tan’s Folly. In my piece I said “over the past fifteen years we’ve written the book on over ambition and poor big money signings” and I’d argue that the structure at issue is a classic example of the sort of thinking which epitomised this approach.
    I used to say that the only person connected with the club in a position that could influence performance on and off the pitch who could look back on our season in the Premier League with any satisfaction was David Marshall. Forget what colour shirts we were playing in, the club messed up spectacularly during that season in the top flight and I’d say a lot of that was down to us trying to run before we could walk on so many different levels – we thought we had “made it” and acted as if all of the hard work had been done.
    Lately though, there has been an acknowledgement that mistakes were made and, as the bad memories fade a little, there is an acceptance from previous critics that the club are trying their hardest to rebuild bridges which had looked to have been burned beyond repair.
    Indeed, although it would be nice to see more people there, you can attend a “normal” home game these days and not come across much evidence of all of the conflict, poor management on and off the pitch and apathy that helped make the last few seasons so miserable. However, there towering over the rest of the ground will be all of those empty red seats in a structure that is currently deemed to be not worth utilising.
    Historically, there was no justification for building that stand extension – one league crowd above the ground’s current capacity in more than fifty years proves this. That said, this doesn’t mean that the situation couldn’t change in the future and that’s why the original plan which allowed for time for us to become more established in the Premier League, while also making an informed assessment as to whether there was the demand to increase the ground’s capacity to 33,000, struck me as a very sensible one.
    Somewhere along the line though, that all changed and so, instead, we saw that running before we could walk syndrome again with another decision being taken which only added to the growing notion that Cardiff City was a club to be laughed at.
    I should add here that some people who pay more for their season tickets in the Ninian Stand than I do because of the protection they are supposed to receive from the elements have had cause to be grateful for this season’s poor crowds because they have been able to move from their normal seats when it was raining heavily (as it seems to have done for most of their games this season). If they had not been able to do this, they would have got soaked because the rain now comes in through the gaps in the roof of the old stand made to accommodate Tan’s Folly.
    Anyway, so much is better about going to watch Cardiff City now than it was, but, certainly if viewed from a distance, the feature which dominates the ground is always going to be a throwback to the bad old days which we all want to forget.
    I don’t get why I should forget all about our recent history and stop using the term Tan’s Folly just because it might be seized upon by so called malcontents and trouble makers (I’ve not seen any evidence whatsoever of this happening, but then I suppose I might be looking in the wrong places).
    To me, trying to get me to “tone down” what I say because we are all, apparently, back pulling in the same direction now is akin to me asking Dai to change his opinion of Malky Mackay as a show of solidarity with this new spirit of togetherness – it makes no sense.
    What I will say is that if the progress we have made so far in 2016 can be continued, then it seems to me that I’ll have less and less call to refer to “Tan’s Folly” and eventually we may end up with a situation where the structure will be viewed by me as an essential addition to the stadium rather than the monument to an era of recklessness and ineptitude that it currently is.

  19. Dai Woosnam says:

    My thanks to AMO and Mike for their support on my views on your use of what I have long reckoned an unfair term. AMO – as ever – feeds my brain with his “left field” way of coming at things. He often provides real MENTAL FOOD for me…indeed for ALL of us.
    And now to your most recent response…
    As ever Paul, a sophisticated and largely well-reasoned reply from you on Vincent’s Vision.
    Now, let me be clear…I defend your right to call the seating extension whatever you like…particularly on your OWN BLOG for godsake. Call it something even MORE inflammatory if you wish. (Which I know of course, that you don’t.)
    So, that is a given.
    But what you must understand is, that we are not trying to eradicate history, when we beseech you to find another description for Vincent’s Vision. The past is the past. It cannot be undone. We are where we are.
    It is just that your use of TF, by its very nature, opens up old wounds. Like it or not – and with due respect to AMO for his delightful etymological insights above – your word “folly” equates in most people’s mind with the word “foolish”…and so, ipso facto, you are saying that Mr Vincent Tan was (is?) a …FOOL.

    The subtext of all that is that you are harking back to the tabloid press feeding frenzy, where Mr Tan was daily portrayed as a blithering idiot/Bond villain, persecuting a most lovely man and brilliant manager in our dear Malky. Cardiff would be much higher in the table if it were not for daily meddling from this control freak Malaysian, who knew nowt about football. (Ha! As if the FSG lot at Anfield, or Randy Lerner at Villa is au courant with the history of the game or the latest trends.)
    Even the so-called “quality press” jumped onboard.
    No wonder newspapers are in terminal decline, eh? That kind of wicked balderdash.

    Now, to hark back to my opening line, you will recall I said “a sophisticated and largely well-reasoned reply from you on Vincent’s Vision”.
    LARGELY but not totally.
    You see where you – and I speak most respectfully – are really wrong here, is aligning your right to air your views on Vincent, with my right to speak re Mr Mackay.
    Here is the difference: Mr. Mackay has NOTHING to do with our club now, and is damaged goods (golly, even poor old Charlton pulled back from the brink when it came to appointing him 3-4 months ago).
    By contrast, Mr Vincent Tan has EVERYTHING to do with our club. Forget my “greatest ever benefactor “thing…just – for the moment – assume I am some obsequious blind fan of tycoons and the Moneyed Class. I am not asking you to buy my assessment of the man.
    I am just asking you not to give the TAN OUT brigade any fuel to add to their vile, often xenophobic, views on our owner.
    Will sign off now.
    Oh one thing I have just noted.
    Who is Tyrone?
    Oh dear…are we ADULTS here, or not?
    Why cannot people give their true first and second name with their contributions to this fine blog? It makes me despair, that people have not got testicular fortitude to put their own names to their opinions.
    God Bless one contributor who has the guts to put all three of his names. Take a bow, dear Adrian Lloyd Pickrell.
    I will debate with ANYONE on anything…and do not mind if I am in a minority of one, with my views. But I need to know if the person I am talking to his voicing his own opinions, and not flying various kites.
    Look, one of my Daigressing readers* recently wrote to me re his input into the biggest political blog chatroom on the web. When I say input, I perhaps should have said “inputs” plural, for he adopts three different personas (personae??).
    One is the real him, a sort of left-leaning Tory; a second is a mad racist fascist; the third is a Politically Correct lifelong socialist.
    Personas 2 and 3 are used to get under the skin of one or two contributors he seems to dislike.
    Madness.
    And so it is here.
    Come on Tyrone…get out from under the skirts of a nom-de-plume. Breathe the fresh air of FREE DEBATE. You will enjoy it.
    And respect people more if they land a glancing blow, as I would respect “Graham”more, (not my biggest fan!) if I knew he really existed.
    Were I running a blog, I would insist on contributors’ names being proved by a copy of their passport, before I let them on.
    So I leave you now (as I leave the tent, I should add that I might be “gone for some time”) with this message to my “first-namers and pen name” brethren here…
    PLEASE GROW A PAIR.
    And calling yourself C.O. Jones, will not help.
    Adios.
    DW.
    * free as always these past 22 years. To get onboard please write to me at ..
    daigress@hotmail.com

  20. The other Bob Wilson says:

    I plucked the name Malky Mackay out of the air Dai, I could just as easily have said, say, Ole, Dave Jones or any current City player or employee you’ve expressed an opinion on. The point is I say you are fully entitled to that opinion and do not advocate that you should ease back on any criticism just in case it adds succour to some “enemy” of the club.
    The truth as I see it currently is that any “Tan Out brigade” (if one exists) have been dealt a heavy blow by the news that our owner is going to deliver on his pledge to convert debt into equity, but, if I accept that I may be wrong in thinking that way, then a couple of further thoughts occur to me;-
    1. The minds of this Tan Out Brigade are already made up on the issue and what I call one of our stands will make little difference to what they believe.
    2. I think you are crediting me with a lot more influence and importance than I actually have.
    As for the person who posted under the name “Coming back?”, I assumed his name was Tyrone Jones because that’s what appears on the e-mail address he used. If that’s not the case, then I’ve no issue with him using an alias – whoever he/she is, I’ve come across a few people who express similar sentiments to the ones expressed in “Coming back?”’s message, but, in my experience, they’re not campaigning to remove Vincent Tan, they’ve just found other things to do on a match day and are getting on with their lives without Cardiff City.

  21. Clive Harry says:

    Afternoon all. Paul’s last paragraph of his comments interested me greatly and I think hits the nail on the head about fan absences much more accurately than many of the other theories put forward.
    I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been watching since the 50’s (ironically my first game was Derby County in 1957 when Geoff Barrowcliffe was playing for them!) but have never really become disillusioned despite the numerous clowns and crooks running the club on and off the field. Consequently, when ‘Our Vinnie’ (affectionate term Dai) took over I was happy to put up with his eccentricities in return for finally having an owner willing to pump his money into the Club and put it on an even keel for almost the first time. I was even prepared to put up with the red shirts as they seemed to be a small price to pay, in my world, in return for his investment. I should point out here that I’ve never been a huge fan of the Premier League and getting there for me wasn’t the promised land – stability was. My dislike was confirmed when we went up and were treated to a season of struggle and discord on and off the pitch, appalling refereeing almost weekly with established refs seeming to go out of their way to look after the big teams (Rooney not being sent off early against us being a prime example), and 90 minutes of play acting prima donnas on a regular basis. I think this was when the first seeds of discontent were sown along with mismanagement by Malky, Ole, and Russell. The latter is regularly given the credit for cutting a bloated squad when I think he was probably told who to get rid of. Allied to his uninspiring tactical selections and substitutions as well as poor transfer dealings and lack of youth development and encouragement I finally decided enough was enough, particularly as Sir Vincent’s pronouncements smacked more and more of megalomania and a lack of awareness at this stage. Consequently, I broke my habit of attending home matches and, as a lover of watching any sort of sport, tried Sky Sports with a nice bottle of red in comfort on a Saturday afternoon, watching Cardiff Met in the Welsh League (great facilities, football, and cheap!), and even Cardiff Blues or the Six Nations.
    However, my love of City is still there and I follow them on twitter or radio wherever I am and still see every game on CC Player. The point of all this is to back up Paul’s assertion that people simply find other things to do on a Saturday afternoon without commitment.
    To end positively, I have been hugely encouraged by the turn around at the Club both on and off the field recently and think there is genuine optimism for our future prospects. Vincent seems to have been reined in and has realised the need to listen to the sensible fan elements and whatever wise counsel he is getting and Russell seems to have finally got a settled team – which in my view has generally been brought about by player departures and other circumstances such as the squad he inherited rather than any tactical nous displayed by the manager. Having said that, if our present form and results continue I think it would be churlish not to talk to him about extending his contract, particularly if we make the play offs or even reach the promised land again – which I think would lead to another season of hardship on the field.
    Finally, in view of my comments I hope I’m not going to be called a Slade hater. This is an emotive term which I don’t think applies to most of the people who simply don’t have a great deal of faith in our manager. It makes about as much sense as calling everybody a ‘Slade lover’ if they are happy to leave Russell in charge.

  22. Dai Woosnam says:

    Paul,
    Just popped back into the tent to pop on my thermals as it is mighty cold outside, and could not resist commenting on Clive Harry’s well expressed piece.
    You are right Clive in asserting that nobody should call you a Slade hater just because you have little faith in his managerial nous.
    For the record, I am not sure that I have much more faith in him as a tactical genius, than you have.
    Indeed, I am astonished by City’s high position coming into April. It speaks volumes on how poor the Championship is this year.
    But I have every faith in Russell Slade the MAN.
    Barry Hearn doesn’t suffer fools or ‘yes men’.
    So when he showers a paean of praise on Russell’s character, that is good enough for me.
    And thus it is that I part company with your implied assertion that players are being sold against his wishes.
    Name some names, Clive.
    It is an easy charge to MAKE, but a hard charge to PROVE.
    Right?
    All that said, we are looking for different things in a manager, Clive.
    Within reason, results don’t worry me too much. What I want is a team that plays FORWARD…not laterally, and certainly not BACKWARDS.
    I could not care less what colour the team play in, though I would prefer it to be blue.
    And I would not have a hissy fit if our fantastic owner had a DAFT penchant for turning us out like Man Utd’s reserves. After all, we owe that man an arm and a leg…and it seemed to me the very least we could do would be to go along with it, if only to show our gratitude to the man. If we call ourselves supporters, we don’t use such a pathetic excuse to break the habit of a lifetime.
    It won’t wash, Tyrone, (if that is your name) …even if the South Wales Echo seemed to give you and your tribe credibility by jumping on your bandwagon late in the day in an effort to stem their alarmingly haemorrhaging circulation figures. Alas by doing that, they went down in my estimation. I had always rated them very highly indeed as an evening newspaper (having lived in many parts of the UK and sampled their inferior brethren). But ’the Echo’ has lost a certain GRAVITAS with me after that nakedly POPULULIST move.
    And as it is now, we are turned out like EVERTON’S reserves…which I guess was always the egregious Dave Jones’s secret fantasy…instead of him dreaming that Everton could be turned out to resemble CARDIFF CITY reserves !!
    I have a photo which I cherish of myself sitting alongside our esteemed host Paul, on Fairwater Green.
    I am wearing a CCCP hammer and sickle, T-shirt.
    Guess what Paul is wearing?
    A truly beautiful football shirt composed of the most distinctive and unusual colours of chocolate and amber squares. Now that WAS special…and still is.
    We would not be mistaken for Everton, Chelsea, Ipswich, the other Bluebirds (Barrow) or indeed, ANY team in THAT…!!
    And Tyrone, if you really are a traditionalist, I want to see you in that handsome quartered shirt, not commonplace blue.
    See Paul…that’s what continued use of TAN’S FOLLY brings. It brings the old daft shirt thing back up into the open.
    Look, our owner was magnanimous enough to admit he had made a mistake, and reverted to blue. Trouble is, like I always predicted, many Cardiff City fans think Magna Nimity is a village in Somerset next to Chew Magna. So they still use the shirt thing as a stick to beat him with.
    SHAME, SHAME, on them.
    It is an excuse no more. And puh-lease…spare us the nonsense that we went along with the red just because we wanted to be like Swansea City !!
    (I have to say this mind, as someone who HONESTLY danced a jig when Preston beat Swansea in the 1964 FA Cup semi final…wanting to be as fine a club as Swansea City now is, should not be something to scorn. I am not talking here about them being in the EPL and us not: I am talking about the sense of cohesion there is in that club.
    Fans and management being as one.)
    Folks we must move on, and – whilst we cannot airbrush it out of our history – forget the daft jersey colour thing ever happened.
    And not use it as a stick to still beat “Sir” Vincent with.
    And TAN’S FOLLY – although not intended as such – is alas a term that just brings these so-called ’supporters’ who jumped ship when we hoisted the wrong coloured flag, back onboard, but refusing to take off their lifejacket, as though they are waiting for the first excuse to jump ship again.
    Right. Time for me to brave the elements.
    DW.

  23. The other Bob Wilson says:

    Thanks Clive, I think you make some great points there (especially the one about Wayne Rooney!). I can remember that the deals to sell Danny Gabbidon and James Collins to West Ham were already in place when Dave Jones was appointed City manager in 2005 and when he was asked about them, his reply was that it was nothing to do with him, he was just concerned about getting a squad together which would be competitive come August and, fair play to him, he did just that.
    I believe that something similar happened with Russell Slade when he was appointed. It would not surprise me at all if he was told that the need to get some players out of the club (or, more accurately, as much of their salaries off the wage bill as possible) took priority over whether he wanted them in the team or not – my guess would be that players such as Guerra, Cala, Daehli, Burgstaller (who the Daily Mail are linking with Southampton this morning I see) and Theophile-Catherine were never going to feature in the Championship after a certain date.
    Regarding Vincent Tan and Russell Slade, I believe that, notwithstanding the fact that he is currently probably as popular amongst City supporters as he’s ever been, it’s the latter who is in more danger of having fans calling for his head any time soon – a defeat tonight and then another one on Saturday at Fulham would see some of our manager’s most virulent critics sharpening their claws again after having kept quiet for a while.
    As for our owner, I believe Dai is misjudging the situation a little. Last season when Vincent Tan turned up for the Wolves match in February, he was given a better reception than I was expecting and I believe he’d get a better one again if he came along to one of our remaining home games this season – as I mentioned before, I think attitudes have changed towards him with many people because of the announcement about debt to equity. Also, someone made what I thought was a good point on a City messageboard a few days ago when he said the staff at the club were being given the freedom to get on with their jobs – for me, Vincent Tan now has a CEO at the club that he has a lot of faith in and so he’s probably a bit less hands on than he was.
    Unlike when we were in the Premier League and under the full glare of the national media spotlight, Mr Tan isn’t the story at Cardiff City at the moment and so, even if there hadn’t been good news on the debt to equity front, I feel that, generally, attitudes towards our owner have softened. I honestly don’t believe that there are hordes of fans out there who will use what I say about our stand extension as a rallying cry to try and force him out.
    I agree with Dai that there were xenophobic attitudes shown towards our owner when we were in the Premier League and some of it came from City fans, but in the main it was the national media who went down that route – indeed, even right in the heart of the very bitter arguments about the rebrand in the summer of 2012, I can remember a couple of fans who used xenophobic language towards Mr Tan on a messageboard being rounded upon by the rest, many of whom were completely against the change to red.

  24. Dai Woosnam says:

    Good comments Paul, but a couple of them need responses from me.
    First, the question of players being sold against the manager’s wishes.
    There is ZERO evidence of this at all.
    That Mr Slade was told on appointment that players needed unloading in the interests of the club’s well being, is a quite different thing, and quite a common thing I would think.
    But the suggestion that Russell is being told to sell players he has grown to be a believer in, is plain WRONG, and feeds into Barry’s narrative that Russell is a YES man.
    To Barry’s great credit, he has now long desisted from making the charge. And I commend him for that, because saying someone is a carpet to be walked over, is about the worst thing that can be said about someone.
    As for the xenophobic thing…I respectfully suggest that you have misjudged the situation. You use the fact that a couple of fans used racist language and are jumped upon, as being indicative of a healthy DISCRIMINATION-free world amongst Bluebirs fans.
    Eh?
    I wish I read the situation the same way you do.
    But I do not.
    Like I said once to my bro…if Vincent had been the son of the great Haydn Tanner, and thus been called Vincent TANNER, we would have had none of these ownership objections.
    Yes, I realise that growing up in Gowerton would make him a potential fan of the JACKS, but seeing as probably the greatest two players I ever saw in a City shirt were Swansea born and bred, well, that could have been easily overcome.
    Ha!
    Well I really AM an optimist till the end, boyo.
    DW.

  25. The other Bob Wilson says:

    It’s not the same thing as you’re talking about Dai, but I can remember Matt Connolly and Kenwyne Jones expressing their surprise when they were loaned out to promotion chasing clubs late last season, I’d say that is probably as close to Russell Slade being told to get rid of players he wanted to keep as we’ve got during his time in charge. It would be interesting if our manager insisted on keeping someone who the club’s hierarchy were prepared to sell – what would happen? My guess is that he would be told that he would have to get rid of another player of equal value within his squad.
    Regarding xenophobic attitudes towards Vincent Tan, I cannot remember hearing of anything which could be called remotely xenophobic being directed at him before the rebrand. After that, it was different, but I maintain that it was some elements of the national media who were by far the worst culprits in this respect. If you are going to dismiss my anecdotal evidence about how those two posters on a messageboard were treated, then doesn’t it make the evidence you refer to frequently (messages on the Wales Online site) look a bit flimsy as well because I doubt it if we are talking about more than, say, twenty people being involved there?
    I went on a couple of marches against the rebrand. From memory, the estimated number involved was in the hundreds for one of them and in the thousands for the other. I can remember there being chants that were certainly not complimentary about Mr Tan, but I can’t recall any that could be termed racist – in my experience the man became unpopular purely because of what he had done, where he was from had nothing to do with it. Therefore, I cannot agree that the whole thing would have panned out differently if Vincent Tanner from Cardiff had decided to change the club’s colours without consulting the fanbase about it – I did hear it said that our owner couldn’t appreciate the seriousness of what he was doing because he has so little experience of British football and those who follow it (a view I didn’t agree with by the way – football supporter’s attitudes are much the same the world over when it comes to the club they support), but I’d hardly call that xenophobic.

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